16 Chestnut Update #13

It’s been about six months since our last update on 16 Chestnut, the new 19-story, 410,000 square foot office tower next to the Union Station light rail platforms that will give DaVita significant expansion space for their headquarters next door, which opened in 2012. Since then, the tower has topped off, the exterior facade has been installed, and the finishing touches are underway. The tower is scheduled to open in a few months, so our next visit to 16 Chestnut will likely be our final update.

First we have views from the building’s eponymous intersection location of 16th and Chestnut, including a close-up of the DaVita main entry and lobby next to the Millennium Bridge. A second lobby for the non-DaVita tenants in the building is located up Chestnut toward 17th Street.

16 Chestnut from the corner of 16th and Chestnut
16 Chestnut from near 16th and Wewatta

The tower steps down to 11 stories along 17th Street, where RTD’s MallRide drop-off area is next to the Chestnut Pavilion. This is also where the project’s ground-floor retail space of about 5,800 square feet is located.

16 Chestnut at the corner of 17th and Chestnut next to RTD's Chestnut Pavilion

The northwest side of the tower faces the RTD rail platforms serving the C, E, and W lines. This is also the side facing Commons Park on the other side of the tracks.

16 Chestnut and RTD's light rail platforms
16 Chestnut viewed from Commons Park
16 Chestnut from Commons Park

Finally, we’re back around to the Millennium Bridge.

This concludes our Update #13! We’ll be back when 16 Chestnut opens for business in a few months.

By | 2018-04-05T22:10:05+00:00 April 3, 2018|Categories: Infill, Office, Transit-Oriented, Union Station|Tags: |16 Comments


  1. DenvertoSD April 3, 2018 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    do those white lines on the glass facades light up at night?

  2. P S April 4, 2018 at 7:28 am - Reply

    The wall of glass facing commons park/millennium bridge turned out worse than imagined.– It’s a soulless facade that looms over the more jovial brick buildings lining the park.

  3. Dan April 4, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I thought the millennium bridge was supposed to be incorporated into the building… I thought “finally, and alternative to the smelly elevator or endless steps when you’re on a bike”

  4. twister244 April 4, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    I actually love the glass facade. It’s very smooth with the right amount of breaks to give it a unique look in the neighborhood. Plus, I didn’t realize they were going to have ground retail on the northern half of the development. That will be a great spot for people coming off the light rail.

  5. Adam April 4, 2018 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    A very good-looking and sharp building overall … except for that darn view from Commons Park. I cannot get over the massive and very boxy northwest-facing glass façade with very little detail or architectural break-up when viewed from that location. I commute (via foot) from the west and walk over Millennium Bridge almost every day and do all I can to enjoy the design and the building’s presence in the Union Station neighborhood. Once I get over the bridge and up close I love the building! Up close it is an attractive addition to the area with spectacular design elements and unique angles. Especially around the lobby. And how it steps down in height towards the bus terminal braking up the mass and giving the tenants what appears to be a rooftop patio space is a nice addition for all. You don’t see much of that from the park, unfortunately. Maybe some cool lighting at night like the DaVita building next door will soften the blow from afar. Also, consideration with the signage to where it doesn’t feel like you’re crossing through a DaVita gateway when on the bridge would be nice. But this is all their call as the primary tenant of 16 Chestnut so it will ultimately be what they want I guess.

    • Citizen Kane April 5, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

      Good commentary

  6. Ed M April 4, 2018 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    The glass part of this building is attractive but the gray concrete element on the lower floors makes the pedestrian experience on the sidewalk adjacent to this building grim.

    • DW April 5, 2018 at 10:07 am - Reply

      Agreed, should’ve kept the glass going to cover the parking garage

  7. Corey April 4, 2018 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    The lobby on 16th is cool. Other than that, I hate this building. I thought Gensler was supposed to be a top tier international architectural firm.

    • Citizen Kane April 5, 2018 at 11:24 am - Reply

      You really offer no constructive criticism or any reasoning for your opinion – just “I hate it”.

      The only egregious part of this design Adam hit on above – the lack of detailing as seen from Commons Park. Otherwise this building is full of thoughtful design elements.
      Are there some things I would have done differently? Sure, but I wouldn’t say I hate it or that it’s a terrible building.

      Aside form the lack of detail on the west facade, my main complaint is that it looks ‘stumpy’. Especially as seen in the photos taken from the light rail plaza. It’s proportions would have looked better at twice this height. Obviously zoning likely placed those limits though.

      • Corey April 5, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

        The textured concrete draws attention to the parking garage along the 17th Street side. The color of the concrete is drab and depressing. The way the blue glass is segmented is cheesy and looks like an after thought. The entire building looks like an amalgamation of numerous tired ideas that we’ve seen a million times before. It really isn’t any better than a 1980’s Tech Center building with some “fresh” lipstick smeared on it. The roof top balcony is nice though. Some of the earlier concepts were much more original. It is obvious this building had its soul sucked out of it by value engineering.

  8. SPR8364 April 4, 2018 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    I think this is a very elegant building. I like it from all sides.

  9. Kyle April 5, 2018 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Off topic but just a heads up, there is now heavy machinery and a trailer at the former Gates Rubber factory site. Also, there are several large apartment complexes that are nearing completion.

  10. N D April 5, 2018 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Kind of clumsy looking in my opinion.

  11. Jim April 5, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    I like this building. I like the sort of rustic texture played against the slick glass. It is a very bulky building but it’s broken up with textures and angles that make it interesting. I do wish the Millennium Bridge were more incorporated but that’s not this buildings fault. To diverge a bit about the bridge….it would be nice if the bridge steps were less expedient and more gracious like the Spanish Steps, where people could hang out. Now that the context is complete with this building, the bridge needs to remake it’s relationship with all of the surrounding buildings.

  12. Aaron April 5, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I do like the colorful screening treatment between 16th and 17th along the Mall-Ride’s path (not pictured). The concrete is a little dull, but a flash of color is helps from the pedestrian perspective.

Leave A Comment